Friday, November 9, 2012

Fifty-Fifty

Last Sunday I attended a service at the nearby Unity Center in celebration of contributions by the many volunteers who keep the congregation humming. In his comments, Reverend Chad O'Shea noted that we each have a choice when looking at a glass containing some liquid. Half empty or half full? Some say, "Look at how much trash has collected in the bushes along the road," or "There's so much work to manage the lending library." Volunteers, he said, see the work, but they also see the benefits they obtain through their involvement - a deeper sense belonging, enhanced self-worth, and relationship and skill building.

I should have caught on right then that the universe was trying to focus my attention on the notion of 50-50, but it took a another confluence of events to get the message into my thickening brain cells.

The ridiculously (IMHO) costly, emotionally provocative 2012 election season has finally come to a close. I didn't watch the broadcast media coverage. My dog in the race is environmental protection and a sane energy policy. So I went to bed election night passionately asking the powers that be to give the "win" to those most likely to protect our air, land, oceans and food from corporations recently elevated to the same human status as the rest of us, albeit without any conscience. When I awoke the morning after, my plan was to continue to avoid the media, fully expecting that there would be no definitive results until maybe Thursday. But when I turned on the TV to access my Wii-Fit daily exercise regimen, I saw the headline, "President Obama Re-elected". Smiling, I exhaled deeply, although I hadn't yet done a lick of exercise.

When I switched the input over to the Wii for a simple test of weight, body mass and balance, I was equally pleasantly surprised by the results on that last measure of my general fitness. There is a 1/4 inch difference between the length of my left and right leg, but on the morning of November 8, 2012, I was standing tall and straight, in perfect 50 - 50 alignment. The cosmic message began to sink in.

I had expended energy the night before overly concerned about the potential that the election results would be a landslide in favor of the conservative Republican agenda. This was unnecessary for many reasons. First, on November 8 half of us woke up overjoyed and half despaired - and that's the way the popular vote has gone for almost two decades. 50 - 50. You have to go back as far as 1996 to see the red and blue skewed off center, and that was due to the influence of Ross Perot running on the Reform ticket. One of the two major parties is going to take the electoral votes needed to win, but we the people are pretty equally divided.

My husband and I live in a red state, North Carolina. Our specific area of the state, the mountainous western counties, is known as "the Buckle on the Bible Belt". The closer we got to election day, the more signs went up, the more boldly our conservative neighbors and friends declared Romney was a shoo-in. It was difficult to believe a 50-50 split was possible. Of course, my Facebook friends' posts were heavily tilted in favor of the Democratic platform, but that's a different place, like San Francisco, where we visited the week before - Blue, true blue. It's easy to see the even balance of popular vote once the ballots have been cast, but in the heat of the campaign, the win-lose climate is likely to be controlled by where you live and who you hang out with.

My dear old Dad, so lucky to have gone to a place without political strife, had a clever perspective on life I think is relevant here. I'm going to do my best to keep it in mind in 2016.

Why Worry?

An Irish Poem, author anonymous

Why Worry? In life there are only two things to worry about:
Whether you are well,
or whether you are sick.

Now if you are well,
You have nothing to worry about.

And if you are sick,
You only have two things to worry about:
Whether you get better,
or whether you die.

If you get better,
You have nothing to worry about.

And if you die,
You only have two things to worry about:
Whether you go to heaven,
or whether you go to hell.
 
Now if you go to heaven,
You have nothing to worry about.

And if you go to hell, You’ll be too busy shaking hands with Your friends,
that you won't have time to worry.
 
So Why Worry?
   

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading your post. I, too have a tendency to worry. I mean, there is a lot of things that one could worry about, right? I've tried many things to stop worrying, and the best is: don't worry, be happy. May we all find the place to be with only presence!

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